Dance Central review

This is what the Kinect was made for.
This is what the Kinect was made for.
This is what the Kinect was made for.

Highs

  • Good variety of movement
  • Tracks players well
  • One of the best party games around

Lows

  • Limited song selection
  • The game can be unforgiving
  • Instructions can be unclear

While the games released under the banner of Microsoft Game Studios all tend to emphasize the family aspect of the Kinect, Dance Central is for a bit older crowd. And unlike many of the other Kinect games that use the hardware in the most obvious ways to create games, Dance Central could actually teach people a few things.

Dance Central is a rhythm game for a new generation. Unlike many of the other games on the Kinect that play like gimmicks and only skim the surface of the Kinect’s potential, Dance Central could be the first step on a far more interesting path for the Kinect. The game asks you to mimic movements — not just footsteps like the current generation of dance games — and in doing so, it might actually teach some people how to dance.

There is no real way to fake it through with Dance Central. You either pull off the move or you don’t. If you fail, you can continue to repeat it until the move is second nature, but this game gets tough quickly. If you are not into dancing, this game is definitely not for you. It is not like a music fan playing Guitar Hero; in Dance Central you need to be on your game and perform correctly.

dance central review screen

The concept of learning a skill from a game has always been laughed at, after all, no matter how much you want to pick up that particular ability, you are still reacting to a one-way tool. With the Kinect, it can actually watch you and tell you what you are doing wrong. The Kinect’s motion tracking does well with this game, and you can see your errors and correct them. It will never replace a real-life teacher, but it is an astonishing step in a new direction for games.

As for the actual content, the songs are among some of the most popular dance tracks of the day, and while the game modes are fairly limited, the level of challenge will keep fans moving for quite awhile. Expect a bunch of DLCs in the future as well, so the library of songs should continue to grow.

Score 8 out of 10

If you’re interested in the Kinect system then check out our Microsoft Kinect review.

(This game was reviewed on the Xbox 360 on a copy provided by MTV Games)